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Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst Memorial

The memorial in 2015

The Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst Memorial commemorates Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, two of the foremost leading British suffragettes. It stands at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens, south of Victoria Tower at the southwest corner of the Houses of Parliament in London.[1]

Fundraising for a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst began shortly after her funeral in 1928, organised by Herbert Baker was the architect of the plinth.

The statue was unveiled by the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, on 6 March 1930. Baldwin gave a speech in which he said: "I say with no fear of contradiction, that whatever view posterity may take, Mrs. Pankhurst has won for herself a niche in the Temple of Fame which will last for all time."[2] Composer Ethel Smyth, a close friend of Emmeline Pankhurst, conducted the Metropolitan Police Band during the unveiling playing an arrangement of her song "The March of the Women" and music from her opera The Wreckers. "The March of the Women" was the anthem of the women's suffrage movement.[3]

In 1958 the statue was moved from its original position in the south of the gardens to a new site further north, and a low stone screen was built flanking the statue, terminating at either end with bronze medallions sculpted by Peter Hills. These depict, on the left, the "prison brooch" or "badge" of the WSPU,[4] and, on the right, a profile bust of Christabel Pankhurst, who died in 1958. The unveiling of this dual memorial was performed on 13 July 1959 by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Kilmuir.[5] Sylvia Pankhurst died in 1960; she is not commemorated. The statue was granted a Grade II listing in 1970.

Components of the memorial
Left, the prisoners' badge of the WSPU, known as the "Holloway brooch", designed by Sylvia Pankhurst in 1909 
Centre, statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, 1858–1928 
Right, a portrait medallion of Dame Christabel Pankhurst, 1880–1958 


  1. ^  
  2. ^ Monument to a woman who changed history: Emmeline Pankhurst statue in Victoria Tower Gardens
  3. ^ The Times shot some pictures of this event, one of it is in possession of Susanne Wosnitzka. At this picture Ethel Smyth is wearing her honorary doctor's robe. Some men in the background are filming this scene with cameras. A 14645, nex39621 ( "FAMOUS CONDUCTOR AT UNVEILING OF MRS PANKHURST STATUE. Our picture shows Dame Ethel Smythe [sic] conducting the Metropolitan Police Band when they played "The March of the Women" and the chorale from her composition "The Wreckers" at the unveiling of Mrs Pankhurst Statue".
  4. ^ Holloway brooch,
  5. ^ Ward-Jackson, Philip (2011), Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster: Volume 1, Public Sculpture of Britain 14, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. 382–5 

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